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BOSS – Spending and Saving

Spending

How many weeks from now until Christmas?

Once you confirm this, let’s take a look at our spending for the festive season. Start by dividing the total cost for your Christmas spending by the number of weeks. This is what you have to save or put aside each week. 

When we struggle all year round, with little cash to spare, we often feel we need to take a break at Christmas – we want our children and loved ones to have the best. But that doesn’t always mean spending a fortune – particularly a fortune you don’t have. We recommend thinking about the clothes, food and gifts you are buying – are they really needed? Talk to your extended family and friends and see how they feel about exchanging gifts and what other options you may have. You never know, they might be very happy you asked and it may help to reduce the burden on everyone.

Do you need to borrow?

If you think you need to borrow to cover the cost of Christmas, then read our before you borrow information page, where we share information, tips, and things to consider before you do.

Avoid Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), if possible. Tempting as they are, try to avoid these offers from retailers unless you have a plan in place for repaying the loan within the interest-free period. Otherwise, after the 0% phase ends, you could be charged a high-interest rate and that new sofa, outfit or TV could end up costing you far more. Late payments may have a negative impact on your credit score. If you do enter a BNPL arrangement, check out the terms and conditions on any items you purchase through finance! Check out our BNPL blog for more tips.

Pay with cash, avoid plastic.

If you do purchase gifts in-store, pay with cash where possible and avoid putting purchases on stores cards, credit cards or paying by instalment – they can cost you more in the long run! Keep all receipts together for any purchases you make. We have provided tips on spending your money wisely at Christmas but what about spending your time?

Spend time and make memories

two young girls doing Christmas arts and crafts at a table with a Christmas tree beside them

Spending at Christmas does not have to be about money. It can be about spending time with family, friends and loved ones.

This Christmas can be about making memories. Get the kids involved and make learning fun. Instead of spending money on store-bought decorations, spend a day or two over a weekend making Christmas decorations with the kids. Take some photos using your phone. Get some of the photos printed and put in a frame as a lovely and affordable gift for a grandparent, godparent or special family member. Say “Cheese!”

Check out our DIY Christmas Decoration ideas or visit our MABS YouTube Channel to watch our step-by-step videos to make some festive, low-cost and fun decorations!

Saving

Christmas may be one of the most expensive times of the year for people. It can be challenging to make affordable and keep within our means. Planning ahead and saving a little each week or month can help.   

It might seem that talking about saving in December is a bit late. However, it’s never too late to make savings that will help to make Christmas a bit easier and more affordable. We spoke about budgeting and the importance of making a list to take control. Shopping around will help and being savvy with your spending will also help you earn some savings. Keeping to your list will also reduce unplanned spending.

white piggy bank with a white Santa hat on top of it on a wooden table and a Christmas tree with red lights in the background

Making a start

The first step in saving money is finding the money to save – which often means prioritising spending in some areas over others.  Generally, it means putting a little thought into how and where we spend our money to ensure we get the best value possible.   

Have you been able to put aside some money over the year to meet the cost of Christmas? If so, well done! Ask yourself, will it be enough to cover the expenses you planned for or do you need to save a bit more over the coming weeks?  If you have not been able to put aside any money, or if what you have saved is not enough, then you have a choice. Either,

  • Cut the money you intend to spend again, until your savings can cover it
  • Or, you may decide to borrow to cover some of the costs of Christmas.

Get creative

Perhaps you can think of other ways to spread the Christmas cheer? Maybe suggest a ‘Secret Santa’ to family and friends or use your hobbies and interests to make homemade decorations, gifts and baked goods. Check out our festive DIY Christmas decoration videos on our MABS YouTube Channel for some decoration ideas and step-by-step guides on creating them!

A selection of arts and crafts to make Christmas decorations

It’s all about the plan

One of saving on both your food costs and food waste over Christmas is to plan your meals! Check out our Christmas meal planner for some delicious recipe inspiration! Joining Christmas saving clubs or saving cash-back vouchers from supermarkets is a great of saving money to put towards Christmas food shopping!

Don’t be duped into buying more food than you need. If a ‘buy one, get one-half price’ offer is genuinely good value for you, go for it, but if you don’t actually need two of the item, avoid! Swapping branded products for own-brand can make a significant difference to your weekly food bill, too.

If you want to start a dedicated savings account for Christmas or other significant events, the CCPC is a good starting point. Check out their regular savings money tool and get ready to BOSS Christmas savings!

Have we missed something?

Do you have a tip or a tactic that you live by at this time of the year? We’d really like to hear from you. Visit our Facebook or Instagram pages and share.

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